Monday,  Feb 18, 2019,23:50 (GMT+7) 0 0
Vietnam secures top spot in ASIAD group stage after beating Japan 1-0
By Vu Duc
Sunday,  Aug 19, 2018,19:09 (GMT+7)

Vietnam secures top spot in ASIAD group stage after beating Japan 1-0

By Vu Duc

Vietnam’s striker Nguyen Quang Hai celebrates his scoring in the ASIAD men’s football event at West Java Stadium in Indonesia on Sunday – Photo: TTXVN

HCMC - Vietnam’s U23 football squad defeated Japan 1-0 in the final group stage showdown in the Asian Games 2018 (ASIAD 18) in Indonesia on Sunday.

Though Japan and Vietnam had already qualified the knockout stage thanks to two victories each, they started the game with their strongest lineups. Japan were considered the strongest team in the group although it consists mainly of U21 boys who will compete at the 2020 Olympics.   

The pace of the match was fast from the start. The Vietnamese boys had a good scoring chance in the first minutes when the Japan defense line made some mistakes. Striker Nguyen Quang Hai opened the score for Vietnam just three minutes into the game with an easy kick in the penalty box.

Vietnam boosted their attacks after the goal. Within the first half, Vietnamese forwarders had made some attempts but their efforts were either off the mark or saved by Japanese goalkeeper Obi Powell Obinna. 

The second half was different as Japan increased ball possession. They played a direct passing game and made long distance shots but their forwarders missed all the scoring chances.

With the third victory, Vietnam lead Group D with nine points. Despite the defeat, Japan went through to the knockout stage as the group runners-up.

ASIAD, the world’s second biggest multi-sports event, is attended by 13,000 athletes from 45 Asian nations and territories. The men football event at the tournament has 25 teams in six groups.

The men’s football will conclude on September 1. The top two teams from each group and the four best third-place teams will advance to the second round.

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